The movie marketplace is more crowded than ever. In the fight for audiences, big studios are sinking increasingly huge amounts of money into marketing and publicity budgets for their tent pole films, resulting in a widening chasm between the “event” films and smaller indies. At the same time, marketing models continue to shift away from traditional print and TV media and towards newer approaches to reach audiences on the Web and via other means. How are independent films with limited marketing budgets finding ways to survive and reach their audience in this market environment?
Honeydripper, the latest film by iconic independent Director and Writer John Sayles, starring Danny Glover and theatrically released by Emerging Pictures, opens in New York and L.A. December 28, then expands over the next few weeks to a nationwide opening February First. Faced with budget limitations and all the other challenges of attracting attention to an independent film, Mr. Sayles, his long-time Producer and creative partner Maggie Renzi, and Emerging Pictures have developed creative marketing and publicity plans for Honeydripper. If their innovative campaign proves successful, it may offer a new model for indie film marketing.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be interviewing Mr. Sayles, Ms. Renzi, and Ira Deutchman, Emerging Pictures’ CEO. We’ll be discussing the state of independent film in the era of event films/YouTube, the challenges faced by indie filmmakers and indie distributors to attract audiences and find legs for their film, audience response so far to the film’s official website and blog, and the outside-the-box publicity and marketing plans for Honeydripper.
I’ll be posting transcripts of the interviews in segments. Subscribing through my RSS feed will ensure you catch all of the interviews as soon as they’re posted.